Two men who have been found guilty of killing and dismembering their friend have been jailed for 28 years at Manchester Crown Court.
Ashley Walsh, 34, from Failsworth in Oldham, was reported missing by his family on January and police later found his body in woods at Sand Hills Park in Collyhurst.
A court heard how Ashley was captured on CCTV on 7 January 2022 at around 7.30pm, walking his dog, with Gerard McGlacken and Aaron Evitt, from Kintore Walk towards Rochdale Road. It was the last time he was seen alive.
The court was told how later that night, Ashley and Evitt had been involved in an argument.
Evitt, 34, later admitted to hitting Ashley over the head with a hammer following this argument, although a post-mortem examination found that he had died from multiple injuries, including severe trauma to his skull and multiple stab wounds to his chest. Evitt discovered McGlacken, 45, had dismembered Ashley’s body and his remains were later placed into four suitcases.
Police put together the case against the pair using CCTV and also found bin bags at McGlacken’s address with Ashley’s DNA.
Family tribute to Ashley Walsh
Ashley’s family said they were left devastated by the loss and have paid tribute to him.
They said: “Ashley, our blond haired curly haired smiling faced little boy. Growing up in a large family, he touched the hearts of everyone he met.
“By nature, he was helpful, sentimental, mischievous and the most easy-going person. A talented motocross rider, his dad always his biggest supporter.
“We have been left devastated that Ashley was to lose his life in such horrific circumstances, he was a lover not a fighter. Ashley – you mean the world to us, if love alone could have saved you, you would have lived forever.”
‘Heinous act of violence’
Detective Inspector Daniel Lee of GMP’s Major Incident Team said: “These convictions are the result of a thorough investigation by our Major Incident Team who were committed to securing justice for Ashley’s family and I’m pleased that those responsible were convicted.
It was a heinous act of violence and not only did Aaron Evitt and Gerard McGlacken take Ashley’s life, but they also attempted to conceal what they had done – causing extreme distress and upset to Ashley’s family and friends.
Our thoughts are with them at this time, and we can only hope that today’s verdict brings some comfort.”